This initial feasibility study demonstrates that recent advancements in precession electron diffraction microscopy can be applied to nanostructured metals exposed to high displacement damage from a Tandem accelerator. In this study, high purity, nanocrystalline, free-standing nickel thin films produced by pulsed laser deposition were irradiated with approximately 3 × 1014 ions/cm2 of 35 MeV Ni6+ ions resulting in an approximately uniform damage profile to approximately 16 dpa. Pristine and ionirradiated regions of the nanocrystalline Ni films were characterized by conventional transmission electron microscopy and precession electron diffraction microscopy. Precession electron diffraction microscopy provided additional insight into the texture, phase, and grain boundary distribution resulting from the displacement damage that could not be obtained from traditional electron microscopy techniques. For the nanocrystalline nickel film studied, this included the growth in number and percentage of a metastable hexagonal closed packed phase grains and the formation of large <001> textured face centered cubic grains. The application of precession electron diffraction microscopy to characterize other nanocrystalline metals, which are being considered for radiation tolerant applications, will permit a comparison of materials that goes beyond the dominant length scale to consider the effects of local phase, texture, and grain boundary or interface information.

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